Ask an exec

On Monday, I’ll be putting in a call to Jeff Solomon, who handles the Kings’ contract negotiations and salary-cap issues. Feel free to post or e-mail any questions you might have for him and I’ll get answers, but please remember that it’s hard for guys like Jeff to answer questions about specific negotiations if those negotiations are still taking place. I’ll be talking to Jeff about Teddy Purcell, the kid the Kings just signed out of Maine, because, as a reader just pointed out below, Purcell seems to be a late bloomer who attracted a lot of attention. I know Scott Parse remains a topic of interest and there have been a couple questions about Brady Murray. Beyond that, feel free to offer any questions. I’ll post the transcript of the call sometime Monday night.

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  • Anonymous

    When is the soonest possible time we can get rid of Cloutier?

  • Todd

    What are the chances of Jan Marek signing a contract with the Kings?

  • Gabby

    I know this may be one of those questions that can’t be answered, but what the hell…

    How are negotiations going regarding a contract extension for Lubo Visnovsky? Whatever Lubo wants, give it to him!!!

  • Rich Hammond

    Gabby…that’s a question I can ask Jeff, although it might be a better question for Lombardi. What I meant is more along the lines of “how much are you offering Parse and how much does he want?” That type of question won’t fly, but more general questions about individual players are fine.

  • Chris

    I would like to know what our cap dollars are today, so we call all play free agent GM over the summer…

    What will the cap be for 2007-08 and how much will Uncle Phil let him spend?

    Is Patrick Hersley D signed and what are the plans for him, his health (hip).

  • Chris

    I would like to know what our cap dollars are today, so we call all play free agent GM over the summer…

    What will the cap be for 2007-08 and how much will Uncle Phil let him spend?

    Is Patrick Hersley D signed and what are the plans for him, his health (hip).

  • Jon

    Gabby, they can’t sign Visnovsky to an extension until July 1st at the earliest.

    Rich, please ask Jeff what restrictions there are on a contract for Marek. Specifically, is he still bound by the entry level system and is he considered “defected” under the CBA? Perhaps he could also answer where they see him fitting in next season (assuming that he signs). Thanks a lot.

  • J Haser

    Hey Rich:

    (First of all, you know I started kinda paying attention to [stupid] basketball whenever I read you were assigned to it/covering it)–yawn…, sorry–but I imagine it must be kinda like watching paint dry for ya after hockey games/coverage…?

    Well, just wanted to say hi and say, THANK you for your updates, info, and for sharing your *personal* schedule with us.

    A special thank you for your loyalty and for always remembering to tell us that your heart’s with the Kings’ hockey! *a la ‘I miss the goal song!’ too funny!

    Also, just a side question, and I don’t know if you’ve answered this/covered it in any of your prior posts’, but who are you rooting for (for both the Eastern/Western conferences) for the playoffs?


  • Joe Grind

    Could you please ask about the status of Johan Fransson, the defensemen acquired in the Norstrom trade.

  • Fredi

    What about Tom Kostopolous? Does it look like he will have a role on this team next year?

    Of course, any information on Lubo would be greatly appreciated.

  • puckboy

    Thanks Rich for your continued posts on our KINGS……how many “pro” players is a team allowed to have signed ?

  • Gabby

    Thanks for clearing that up, guys! I figured I could at least keep Lubo on the minds of the higher-ups. We want him to stay with the Kings, so let’s keep him from becoming a UFA in 2008.

    Love your blog, Rich! It’s really helping me conquer the Kings withdrawal during the offseason.


  • Bruce

    Rich – Just wondering if Joe Piskula’s bonus-laden contract was the reason the Kings were sign him. Was the offer within the rules for contracts? Thanks.

  • Mikey

    Q for Jeff:

    With the NFL draft concluding today, I noticed that the debate between “Drafting best player available” or “Drafting best player in need of” has become more and more of a controversial and widely debated topic.

    When the Kings enter Free Agency on July 1st, what’s the logic that applies similar to the NFL Draft, as well as the NHL Draft for that matter. Do The Kings want to get the best player available and possibly package expendible others? Or do The Kings want to focus on the holes in the club and just improve in the areas that direly need it?

  • Ernest

    Thanks for the communication Rich!

    I am most curious about Cammy’s situation. Alot of teams are already resigning RFA’s. Are we close with Cammy?

  • Kyosti Karjalainen

    A number of questions for former player agent, Jeff Solomon:

    – How many pro contracts are the Kings committed to next season (under the CBA, there is a limit of 50 players that can be signed to a pro contract, not including prospects in juniors who are under contract)?

    – Are their plans for the Kings to form a minor league affiliation with minor pro club that will be located in Ontario, CA?

    – What does the organization plan to do with Oleg Tverdovsky and his $2.5M contract?

    – How many roster spots will the Kings look to address to fill via free agency or trades?

    – Are the Kings going to continue to stockpile on draft picks for the 2008 and/or 2009 drafts, which are said to be just as deep (if not, deeper) than the 2003 draft class?

  • Marko Peers

    Question: I was surprised Trevor Lewis was signed to an ATO after only one season of junior coming from USHL. What was Lombardi’s strategy?

  • Kevin

    Why would an accomplished, well respected, proven GM like Dean Lombardi choose to sign a goalie to an extension when he was coming off surgery, had NEVER played a game for the Kings, and has the reputation for choking in the playoffs? I’ve heard things like “He’s a proven NHL goalie” or “30 wins” or “we wanted to shore up the goaltending” but those answers are not good enough. Those things are good enough reasons to trade for him and get him here and give him a shot, but NOT GOOD ENOUGH REASONS TO SIGN HIM TO THIS RIDICULOUS EXTENSION!! I know this is an old and tired subject but I have never heard a satisfactory answer. I’ve been a Kings fan since I was a young kid and this franchise has a history of horrible goaltending. This organization FINALLY gets away from the tired old thinking of Dave Taylor and co., brings in a new, forward thinking, somewhat proven GM and what does he do? He trades for a playoff choker who is coming off MAJOR surgery and signs him to an extension without EVER seeing him play in a Kings uniform. Ridiculous. This team being the way it is, perhaps a good goalie wouldn’t have helped much but that’s just this season. Now we’re stuck with this horrible piece of garbage and his unearned, exorbitant contract for two more years. Idiotic.

  • Ryan

    To Kyosti Karjalainen:

    The Kings are current at 31 or 32 contracts for next season. The reason for the “or” there is that there’s some confusion as to if the NHL actually voided Patrik Hersley’s contract he signed last summer since it was submitted after the signing deadline. Take note that the number listed does not include any of the free agents like Michael Cammalleri, Jason Labarbera, John Zeiler, Peter Harrold, Richard Petiot, etc.

    The holes via free agency issue was discussed in the transcript of Kings Talk where Dean Lombardi was a guest. I’m not going to copy/paste the entire thing, but here’s a snippet:


    What about this summer? By moving a lot of the veterans you’ve obviously freed up a lot of cap space. Do you have a plan or do you have to wait and see what’s available out there?

    I’d like to say that there’s four holes that ideally we’d like to fill, but I don’t think you can count on filling them all through free agency. There’s a limited number of players out there and then when you have 30 teams bidding on them it can get out of hand — not only financially, but also whether a player wants to come to the west coast.

    To Marko Peers:

    You seemed surprised by his signing the ATO so I’m not sure if you realize that Trevor Lewis signed a three-year contract on July 14, 2006 before he even played his first game with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL.

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